MPS reacts to SPLC lawsuits over student expulsions

MPS reacts to SPLC lawsuits over student expulsions
MPS is reacting to news of two lawsuits filed over the expulsion of Robert E. Lee High School students. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Board of Education is reacting to a pair of lawsuits filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center Wednesday in regard to the expulsion of two students.

“There are exhaustive procedures in place to protect students in cases of potential expulsion," MPS spokesman Scott Johnson told WSFA 12 News.

The SPLC’s suits were filed on behalf of two expelled Robert E. Lee High School students who were initially arrested and charged with possession of a gun following a Feb. 2019 shooting incident at the school.

The students were eventually cleared in Montgomery County Juvenile Court after it was determined a video recording showed them passing a cellphone, not a gun, shortly after the shooting in the school’s gym.o

But the SPLC contends that as the students sat in a youth facility for nine days working to clear their names, the MCBOE moved forward with disciplinary hearings and expelled both students without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves.

"Superintendent Ann Roy Moore is currently reviewing all the due process documents that were filed in relation to the expulsion of these students to verify that all procedures were followed,” Scott stated.

The suits seek to reverse the expulsions, immediate reinstatements, corrections to the students’ academic records, reforms to the district’s policies, and compensation for the missed instructions.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.